Fri, Jun 15 2012 02:31 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Though he wasn’t wearing the red and gray Sweetwater singlet emblazoned with the giant “S” at last weekend’s San Diego Multi-Event Championship boys decathlon at Cuyamaca College, Sweetwater senior Spencer Curtis proved to be the superman in the 10-event meet by tabulating a top score of 5,385 points.
Curtis, who is being wooed by both the Cuyamaca and Southwestern track programs for his physical talent, edged El Capitan senior Ryan Maize by 492 points to win this year’s title.
Curtis joins Eastlake’s Austin Jett (2007) and Hilltop’s Kurt Klaser (1989) and Mike Arms (1996) as South County decathlete champions.
“I just wanted to get enough points to qualify for nationals,” said Curtis, the reigning San Diego Section Division I high jump champion who was among seven individuals and one relay team from the Metro Conference to qualify for this year’s state championship meet June 1-2 in Clovis.
“I felt pretty good (about winning) after taking fourth last year. I think I’ve got the decathlon record now at Sweetwater.”
Last year, Curtis and SuHi teammate Luis Venegas entered the decathlon to settle a friendly bet as to who was the better all-around athlete. Venegas out-pointed Curtis by 52 points for bragging rights between the two friends.
But Venegas was unable to compete at last weekend’s meet; instead, Curtis found a suitable rival in Bonita Vista senior Branden Greene, a fellow high jumper.
Greene set the standard during the regular season with a section-best high jump mark of 6-9.
However, Curtis won the Division I title at 6-7 at the section finals May 26 at Mt. Carmel High School; Greene tied for second at 6-5.
Both Metro standouts qualified for the ensuing state meet at Buchanan High School. But fortune was with neither amid triple-digit temperatures at the state prelims.
Greene could only manage to clear 6-4 while Curtis failed to clear the height. Ten jumpers cleared 6-8 to compete in the finals the following day.
California senior Noel Frazier won the state title by clearing 6-10.25 amid wind gusts; Bullard senior Gyle Becker captured the last medal (sixth place) at 6-6.
At last weekend’s decathlon, Greene and Curtis were the class of the high jump field. Greene cleared 6-6 and narrowly missed setting a new meet record at 6-8 (the record remains at 6-6.5); Curtis cleared 6-4 to finish second in the event.
Both Greene and Curtis expressed extreme disappointment in their performances at the state meet.
“It was a different environment up there, especially the weather,” Greene said. “There were a lot of competitors (31) in the event and there was a lot of waiting around.”
The boys high jump took three hours to complete; Greene and Curtis waited nearly two hours before they took their first jumps — as night fell.
“It was very tiring,” Curtis said.
Above and beyond
At the conclusion of decathlon’s opening day, Curtis led the 10-deep field with 3,020 points. Maize was second with 2,818 while Green was third with 2,813 points, followed by Patrick Henry’s Kyle Proctor with 2,743 points.
Curtis had set a goal of reaching 6,000 points for the two-day meet.
“After the first day, I was pretty sore,” he lamented.
Curtis improved by a whopping 1,098 points from last year. “I did better in the long jump and a lot better in the high jump, then in the 1,500, I kicked it,” he said.
Curtis admits distance running is not one of his strong points. He struggled to finish the 1,500 last year and there was an outside chance that Maize, an all-league cross country standout, could catch him for the overall points title this year with a superhuman showing in the final event.
Maize lapped the field with a time of 4:36.28. Curtis was well behind in 5:25.67, but his time was significantly better than last year’s mark of 6:02.8.
Greene, a basketball/track star at BVHS, failed to finish the race after aggravating a pre-existing knee injury (from basketball). Greene had to be carted from the track after going down with about 120 meters to go in the grueling race.
Over the two-day meet, Curtis recorded top marks in the 100 dash (11.94), long jump (20-1), shot put (35-9.25), discus throw (111-2) and pole vault (12-2). He was second in the high jump (to Greene), third in the 110 high hurdles (17.14), fourth in the 400 dash (58.54) and 1,500 run and fifth in the javelin throw (87-11).
Greene looked to contend for a top four finish after recording marks of 12.14 in the 100 dash (fourth best), 20-0.5 in the long jump (second to Curtis), 86-1 in the discus throw (second to Curtis) and 111-0 in the javelin throw (second to Grossmont’s Brian Parker).
Greene cleared 8-2 in the pole vault to rank fifth overall.
The BV multi-sport standout had previously never attempted eight of the 10 events in the decathlon.
“I had only done the high jump and the long jump,” he said. “The decathlon was a challenge but it’s something I might want to do someday. I just wanted to complete all my events and do my best.”
El Capitan’s Maize, a four-event league champion at this year’s Grossmont Valley League finals (110 high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles, high jump and 4x400 relay), finished second with 4,893 points. Proctor, an Eastern League champion in the 110 high hurdles and 4x100 relay, finished third with 4,652 points, followed by Parker in fourth place with 4,452 points and El Cap’s Nathan Cable in fifth place with 4,348 points.
Greene received zero points after defaulting from the 1,500 run. He finished sixth with 4,235 points.
Rancho Bernardo’s Patrick Holstrom was seventh with 3,336 points, followed by El Cap’s Matt Dehnel in eighth place with 2,996 points and James Stevens with 578 points.
Steele Canyon’s Myles Anderson had accumulated 1,839 points through five events but had to withdraw after the first day of competition after sustaining a hip injury.
Heptathlon honor roll
Chula Vista’s Anessa Wolfblack and Bonita Vista’s Andrea Reyes both competed in the women’s hepathlon competition. Wolfblack, a field hockey/basketball/track standout at CVHS, finished fifth in the seven-deep field with 3,012 points.
Reyes, a high jumper and pole vaulter on the BVHS track team, finished sixth with 2,994 points.
Both South Bay athletes had their moments.
Wolfblack, the South Bay League champion in the discus throw, scored second-highest marks in the javelin throw (85-2) and shot put (27-0.5) and was fourth best in the 800 run (2:31.0).
Reyes, who was third at the Mesa League finals in the high jump at 4-8 and fifth in the pole vault at 7-6, tied for second in the high jump (4-9.75) and was fourth best in both the long jump (13-5) and javelin (67-10).
Steele Canyon’s Monique Van repeated as the San Diego heptathlon champion with 4,130 points — a scant eight points ahead of Torrey Pines’ Nikki Larch-Miller.
Facing a 28-point deficit in the final event — the 800 run — Van eclipsed Larch-Miller by 2.81 seconds at the finish line to move into sole possession of the lead.
“This was one of the toughest and closest competitions I’ve seen in my 20 years of involvement in this event,” meet director Lyle Barton said.
Vista’s Mariah Slack finished third with 3,767 points, followed by University City’s Jennifer Naylor in fourth with 3,3039 points.
This year’s San Diego Multi-Event Championship was sponsored by the San Diego Pole Vault Club in conjunction with Cuyamaca College.
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